7 Things to Know Before You Become a Programmer


Anyone aspiring to become a future programmer understands that it isn’t something that you can achieve overnight. It is a highly consuming process and takes years for any person to become a good programmer. There will be times when you’ll want to give up on this dream because of the frustration, maybe even change careers. But if you are truly passionate about programming, then you will keep pushing.

In estimate, it takes about three years to understand the concepts of programming beyond its basics. You will most probably start the journey with CSS and HTML, work on it for a long time, and then move further.

Eventually, the concepts start making sense, and writing junior-level programs don’t seem like a problem. But keep in mind that watching videos and reading books won’t make you a great programmer. You will need to practice and practice a lot to become good at it.

What should I know before becoming a programmer?

So seeing that you’re still adamant about exploring the world of programming and fulfilling your matrix dreams, then there are some things that you must know before you become a programmer.

Know what you want

Exploring every computer language just to get a feel of what suits you best will be extremely time-consuming and, at times, redundant. Therefore, go into this field with a clear goal in mind. You should know whether you want to learn javascript or python. Once you determine the programming language you want to work on, find all the resources related to it, such as books, courses, videos, etc.

Research if the programming career is suitable for you

Having a career in programming will require you to have a strong base in the language you are learning. You must understand the fundamentals of the language, such as its design patterns, algorithms, and data structures. This sounds simple enough, right?

But anyone can learn the fundamentals, but it doesn’t mean they are suitable for this career. To become a programmer, you must first develop the soft skills needed to work in this industry. You must have great communication skills that you can use to voice the issues and explain the complex tech challenges you are facing. You need to be able to accept critical feedback and learn from it in an empathetic manner.

Mostly, you must learn to work as a team. If you had an image of you working in a dark room with four screens surrounding you while you type away furiously, you were wrong. Programming requires as much team effort as any sport.

What it takes to become a programmer

Programmers tend to take many different paths to achieve their goals. Typically, most programmers have a computer science or computer programming degree. On the other hand, some people have less extensive training as compared to a bachelor’s degree. They may have an associate degree in programming or a coding boot camp training.

Programmers also have the choice to pursue certifications that demonstrate their experience and skills even if they don’t have a technical or programming-related background. These certifications showcase the experience and skills of a person to potential employers regardless if they have a background in programming or not.

This flexibility is the reason why people are belonging to diverse backgrounds in the programming field.

Programming salaries

A programmer’s salary depends on several factors such as their experience, their designation, qualifications, skills, and which language they are working in. But the median annual salary of a programmer is $89,190, as reported in 2020. Most of the professionals in the field earn way over $149,050 per annum.

Apart from that, salaries also vary depending on the industry and State the programmer is working in. For example, programmers have earned up to $89,530 while working in manufacturing, $92,390 in insurance and finance, and up to $103,710 while working in the software publishing industry.

Skills you need to become a programmer

While stereotypes classify programmers as nerds and introverts who are not comfortable talking to people, in reality, you have to be an excellent communicator to become a programmer.

Apart from that, you must have exceptional technical skills, know different programming languages, and understand designs and software. You also need to have an eye for detail, be observant, and have exceptional problem-solving skills. Lastly, a little creativity is crucial when working on a new project.

Develop a personal learning experience

Before you start practicing even the simplest programs, you must have some learning experience about the language. The reason is that you will run into many resources who will teach you different technicalities of the language. You may get inspired by them to try on different things to program and create.

However, the best thing you can do before you take any action is to find a comprehensive book on that language with a thorough FAQs section. Read and understand the concepts of the language without executing any of those exercises. You may feel like it’s futile if you don’t remember the language and its commands, but stay assured that you will learn them in time with practice.

But having a personal learning experience will give you a better understanding of the language’s fundamentals and its basics. Once you have covered them, you are free to divulge into programming practices.

Learning by yourself is very tough

The majority of people who don’t have a background in programming start their journey by trying to learn by themselves. While this approach is good for learning and understanding the basics, it is not feasible in the long run. Learning to code and program yourself completely is hectic, frustrating, and extremely time-consuming.

After all, there are some questions you won’t find the answers to through online resources. Only the experience and skills of a qualified programmer can help you in that regard. So instead of spending months and years trying to learn yourself, try to learn through courses, programs, and boot camps.


The programming field is diverse and full of opportunities for people belonging to any technical background. Moreover, there is always an opportunity to grow and learn more as the field progresses with time. So, if you have a passion for programming and believe that this field is the right one for you, then it is worth all the frustration that years of education and practice will bring. You just have to stick to your resolve and keep working as hard as possible to develop the skills the industry requires.